Do you know someone who just got braces? Braces are one of the most efficient ways to straighten crooked teeth with many different braces options to choose from.
However, when it comes to braces, dental hygiene is of the utmost importance. That’s because both metal and ceramic braces contain wires and brackets which makes it easy for food to get stuck.
Poor dental hygiene can lead to things like cavities, halitosis, gum disease, and other issues. That’s why it’s necessary to learn how to clean braces the correct way.
Keep reading this guide to learn the Louisville orthodontist tips for cleaning your braces.
1) Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is a crucial part of dental care. With braces, this couldn’t be more true.
You will first want to buy a quality, soft toothbrush with bristles in the shape of a V. A better option is to buy an electric toothbrush, which is a battery-charged toothbrush with a brush head that swirls in a circular motion.
Before you brush, be sure to rinse your mouth with water to help get rid of any food that’s stuck. You will then rinse off your toothbrush and squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the head of the brush.
When brushing, you will want to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move your toothbrush in a circular motion around the four quadrants of your mouth.
On the chewing areas of your teeth, it is recommended to move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion to rid those areas of any residual food or bacteria. You should brush your teeth for approximately 2 minutes for the best results.
Last but not least, be sure to brush your tongue as it can hold a lot of bacteria. Then, rinse your mouth one last time for optimal results.
2) Flossing Your Teeth
Proper flossing is also essential when cleaning teeth with braces. However, using normal floss can be extremely difficult with braces because the wire will often get in the way.
This is where a floss threader comes in. A floss threader is a tool that connects to your dental floss and allows the floss to easily maneuver through the wiring of your braces.
After attaching a piece of floss to your floss threader, you will then slide it in between your teeth and behind the wiring of your braces. While doing this, it’s important to use an up and down motion to ensure that all plaque and debris are eliminated.
It is recommended to floss once per day, but you can always choose to floss more as needed.
3) Water Flossers
Water flossers are another good option for flossing. The Waterpik is one of the most popular water flossers with many positive reviews.
A water flosser works by spraying water at your teeth and effectively rids your mouth of food, debris, and plaque. This can be done once per day or as needed.
Keep in mind that water flossers are a great addition to your dental care regime, though it’s vital to still practice daily traditional flossing as that is the most effective.
4) Interdental Toothbrush
Many people also find that they benefit from an interdental toothbrush. Some people refer to this as a spiral dental brush.
An interdental toothbrush is known to be extremely effective at removing plaque. It consists of a bristle attached to a wire that goes between the brackets of your braces and its recommended use is once per day.
While putting the bristle between each tooth and bracket, it’s important to use a back and forth motion to make sure you fully remove food lodged in the area. Also, make sure to rinse the bristle in between cleaning each tooth, so the debris does not build up.
Before purchasing an interdental toothbrush, make sure that you buy the proper size so that the bristle properly fits between your teeth. If you are unsure about the right size for you, seek guidance from your orthodontist.
5) Daily Mouthwash
Finally, it’s important to find a good mouthwash to use when having braces. Mouthwash is great at preventing cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and protecting the overall enamel of your teeth.
When searching for the right mouthwash, it’s important to find a product that contains sodium fluoride which works the best at removing plaque from your teeth.
It’s also good to avoid mouthwash products that contain alcohol. Many people are under the impression that alcohol is better at killing bacteria, but it can actually work against you long-term by decreasing the amount of saliva in the mouth.
Likewise, it’s important that your mouthwash is ADA-certified. ADA certification ensures the safety of all the chemicals in the product.
It is recommended to use mouthwash right after brushing and flossing your teeth. Think of it as the final step of your oral care routine, twice a day.
Swish the recommended amount in your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute and then spit into the sink.
One of the biggest mistakes people make after using mouth wash is eating or drinking too soon after. It is advisable to avoid any food or drink, including water, for 30 minutes after rinsing.
Louisville Orthodontist Tips for Cleaning Braces
This guide taught you the Louisville Orthodontist tips for effectively cleaning your braces. If you know someone with braces, make sure they take these steps for the health of their pearly whites.
Here at White, Greer, & Maggard, we offer a variety of different orthodontic services for your needs. Visit our website today to learn more about our services.